best neck

wingardium-letmefuckyou  asked:

Hey, I love your gods&monsters series, could you write something about Apollo? ^Preferably something with a positive vibe, something romantic... But that's totally up to you, anything about Apollo makes me happy

Apollo has many sons.

He only ever has nine daughters.

~

He has his first when he’s young, too young to know better.

Daphne is beautiful and coy, and leads him on a merry chase. He catches her, and finally silences her laughing mouth with his own. They sleep together, and she leaves bite marks up his neck.

Her father, the river god Peneus, finds out about them. Apollo had not known it was secret. Peneus is a hard, selfish god, and he slits Daphne’s throat for her impurity. Better a dead daughter then one who does not listen.

Apollo finds out too late. He arrives to Daphne dead on the side of her father’s riverbank, stomach swollen in a way Apollo doesn’t remember it being the last time he saw her, which was – which was – it couldn’t have been that long, could it?

He cuts open her stomach, throat too tight to call for his sister’s help, heart too tight to bear anyone else looking at Daphne’s slack, bloody face.

The child is still warm.

The child is still alive.

He cannot bring himself to bury Daphne, to sentence her to an afterlife beneath the earth. Instead, he transforms her into a large laurel tree, so her beauty will remain eternal. He presses a hand against her trunk and says, “My hair will have you, my lyre will have you, my quiver will have you.” Apollo looks down at the baby, too small, tucking into the crook of his arm. “Our daughter will have you.”

He calls her Calliope. Their daughter weaves laurel leaves into her hair every day of her life.

~

When he is older, but not wiser, he gets drunk on the top of Olympus. It is not the first time, nor the last, but this time it is different.

This time Hestia, goddess of the hearth, of warmth, of family, places her delicate hand around the back of his neck and leads him to her rooms.

Months later, he lands his chariot, the sun finally set. His arms are shaking, and his legs are covered from burns when the sun grew tired and tried to consume him, but could not. Hestia stands before him, something held in her arms. “What’s wrong?” he asks roughly, throat dry and the skin of his lips cracking. Hestia rarely leaves Olympus.

“I am no mother,” she tells him, and he doesn’t understand until she places a warm, squirming bundle in his arms. He holds it to his chest automatically. “Her name is Terpsichore.”

She leaves before he has the chance to question her. He looks down, and the baby has his golden eyes and her dark hair. “Hello, little one.”

Calliope is fully grown now. Apollo leaves Terpsichore in her care, and promises to come when called.

“Yes, Father,” Calliope says, rolling her eyes as her little sister grabbing fistfuls of her curly hair. There’s an ink smudge across her face, and her home is bursting with books. He should really talk to Athena about letting Calliope use one of her libraries.

He kisses both their foreheads before leaving.

~

Apollo falls in love with a Spartan prince, graceful and strong and with a wide, pretty mouth. He falls in love with a mind that can match him, with a smile that leaves him breathless. Hyacinth captures his affections and attentions utterly, and for a few short years Apollo is enchanted, for a few short years Apollo feels a love deep in his chest that is only surpassed by the love he has for his sister.

Then Hyacinth is killed.

He shows up at his daughters’ door, and Calliope and Terpsichore take one look at him and usher him inside. He can’t bring himself to speak, but he’s covered in blood that isn’t his own, is pale and shaken and mourning.

They clean him and care for him and settle him to bed, although he cannot bring himself to sleep.

Less than a week later, there is a mortal woman there looking for him. Her eyes are red, but she stands tall and her lips are pressed into a straight line. A toddler who shares her dark coloring clutches her skirt. “I am the Princess of Sparta, and wife of Hyacinth.”

Apollo hadn’t known Hyacinth had a wife. He hadn’t asked. Surely he would have noticed – but then again, perhaps not. Love makes people stupid. “I am sorry for your loss.”

“As I am sorry for yours,” she says in return, which surprises him. “Sparta must have a prince. I am to be remarried.” She brings the little girl forward, and she can’t be more than a couple years old. “This is Urania, the child of myself and my husband. I have been ordered to kill her.”

Apollo flinches. He knows such things are done, but – she is Hyacinth’s daughter. “I will take her.”

She smiles. “I thought you might.” She kisses the girl on both cheeks, hands her to Apollo, then leaves as quickly as she’d came.

Urania watches them with big liquid eyes that she got from her mother. He stays with his daughters for a year after that, playing with Urania and watching Terpsichore dance and listening to Calliope’s beautiful poetry. Urania loves the stars. She stares up at them each night, and Apollo patiently explains the name of each one.

When she is fully grown, he begs a piece of ambrosia off Hestia and feeds it to her.

Urania is his daughter as surely as if his blood ran through her veins. He cannot bear to watch her age and die.

~

Marpessa chooses Ida over him, but it is too late. She already swells with his child, and he could use that to keep her. He could force her to stay at his side, she loves him, she said so, it would not be such a cruel thing.

But she is not wrong in her assessment. Apollo is immortal, and will not grow old with her, will not change with her, will not die with her. Ida will.

There’s fear on her face, and he thinks she deserves it, for proclaiming to love him and choosing another. But he is not interested in keeping her captive for a lifetime.

“Have the child, and give it to me,” he commands, “and I will leave you to your life.”

Ida is furious in his jealousy that Marpessa will bear a child for Apollo before she bears a child for him, so there is that comfort, at least.

Artemis delivers the child to ensure it goes smoothly. She’s beaming as she holds her niece. “What will you call her?”

“You choose,” he says, running the back of his finger over the babe’s soft cheek.

His sister considers the squalling child for a long moment before she says, “I think you should name her Thalia.”

“Thalia it is,” he says.

She’s mischievous, and reminds him of himself on his worst days. She grows, and pulls pranks on nymphs and deities. Her older sisters are constantly straining to keep her out of worse trouble.

He gets a frantic message from Calliope that Thalia has gone missing, and he eventually finds her at the edge of a scorched battlefield, the soldiers long gone but the bodies and stench remaining. He’s furious at her for going to a place so dangerous, but when he marches up to her he sees something that he hadn’t expected.

She’s hallway through a story about pranking a wood nymph that he knows is at least half lies and a quarter exaggeration. Curled up on the ground, clutching his stomach as he laughs so hard he can’t breathe, is Ares.

Apollo hasn’t seen the tormented god of war this carefree since he was a child.

Thalia finally notices him, and cuts herself off, paling. “Oh, uh. Hi Dad.”

Ares is downright giggling. “Hello Thalia,” Apollo crosses his arms and glares, “You shouldn’t go wandering away from your sisters.” She winces and nods, ducking her head to look up at him through her eyelashes, doing her best to look contrite and innocent.

It might have worked, if Apollo hadn’t taught her that look himself.

He sits down on the ground next to Ares, who doesn’t acknowledge his presence beyond shifting enough to use Apollo’s thigh as his pillow. “Well,” Apollo says, “keep going.”

Thalia lights up and launches back into the story, and when she finishes she continues into another which is mostly true and somehow even more ridiculous.

~

Because he’s an idiot with a death wish, Apollo ends up spending a month with Hecate in the underworld. He stumbles out one night when she falls asleep, because he feels if he doesn’t leave now there’s a possibility that he never will.

One of the most horrifying moments of his life is looking for the way out, and finding Hades instead. The god of death looks to him, walking around naked in his realm, to the direction he came from, and says, “That was you? Are you crazy?”

“It … it was a good time,” he says faintly.

“Obviously,” Hades shakes his head, and slices his hand down in the air in front of them, creating a doorway for Apollo out of his realm.

Apollo gives him a clumsy salute and steps through.

Roughly a year later, he’s playing his lyre when a little girl with black skin and grey hair and eyes appears in front of him. It’s terrifying enough that he accidentally snaps one of his strings.

“Lady Styx,” he says, voice higher pitched than normal. “Is there something I can help you with?”

The child snorts and reaches her hands into absolutely nothing and pulls out a baby. She holds it out to him. “Hecate says this is your problem now.”

Improbably, the babe already has a mouth full of too-sharp teeth. Her eyes shift between every color, unable to decide, and there is something a little too knowing about her face for one so young. Artemis says he too was born knowing too much.

A child of Apollo and Hecate can only be a mistake, something that will never fit quite well among others of her own kind.

He sighs and take the baby. “Very well.”

“I like the name Clio,” the child goddess says before leaving him.

Thalia tells him it’s too small and to give it back. Urania is fascinated, and takes over most of the child’s care, which is likely for the best since Calliope is neck deep into a new epic, and would be cross if she needed to pull her attention from it to rear a child.

As Clio ages, she stays just as unsettling and strange. Hephaestus shows up around the time she starts breaking into Athena’s libraries, even though stunts like that get people worse than killed. “I don’t know why she gave her to me,” Apollo says as they watch the teenager devouring a stolen tome on the history of the Persian Empire. “Hecate raised you, I don’t understand why she didn’t want to raise her actual daughter.”

“You’re a better parent than she is,” he says thoughtfully. Apollo gives him an unimpressed look, but he says, “I’m serious. Your girls are turning out to be quite lovely – all of them.”

“Of course they are,” he says, nose in the air, but grins when Hephaestus elbows him the side.

By the time she’s an adult, Clio is easily one of the most accomplished scholars to ever exist. She and Athena regularly get into academic debates that last weeks, and scare off anyone from daring to come closer.

She stays strange, and too smart, and Apollo loves her utterly.

~

Apollo is lying on the beach when a large wave overtakes him and drags him into the sea. He struggles for the surface, but can’t seem to shake the waves, and is dragged to the sea floor. He’s a god, so he won’t suffocate, but he’s terrified when the water drags him down to Poseidon’s palace and deposits him in front of his wife. “Apollo,” she says, “I can see what your daughters will become.”

He has no idea what she’s talking about. “Excuse me?”

Amphitrite grabs his jaw and pulls him closer. He doesn’t dare resist. She looks into his eyes, then smirks. “The god of prophecy doesn’t know that which he has wrought. How … ironic.”

“Is it?” he wonders. He really hopes she doesn’t kill him.

“Quite,” she smirks, and with a flick of her wrist she’s naked before him. “I wish for one of your daughters to be mine as well. Lay with me.”

“Uh,” he says eloquently, because Amphitrite has never given her husband any children, he hadn’t even known she could. If he sleeps with her, Poseidon might kill him, regardless of how many people the god of the sea sleeps with that aren’t his wife. But if he refuses her, she might kill him, and it’s not like having sex with Amphitrite is any sort of hardship. She’s as gorgeous as she is terrifying. “Okay.”

He’s deposited back on the shore the next day, feeling oddly used.

If Poseidon has any opinions on Apollo knocking up his wife, he doesn’t voice them.

Amphitrite doesn’t foist the baby upon him as soon as she’s born. Instead years pass, and one day a dark skinned, amber eyed sea god shows up at his door. There’s a teenager at his side, who has Apollo’s coloring and Amphitrite’s bone structure, and hair that shimmers golden-green in sunlight. “Glaucus,” Apollo greets warily, “and who might this be?”

“I call her Erato,” Glaucus says, “I’ve raised her since birth. It’s time for her to join her sisters.”

Erato is not as terrifying as her mother. Instead there’s a sweetness about her that she must have gotten from Glaucus. She’s shy at first, and spends many days looking out into the sea. But his daughters are persistent, and soon she’s laughing and joining them. There’s something dreamy about her, and she loves love, writes romantic ballads and beautiful poems, so much so that Aphrodite commends her talent.

Erato is also the most like him in the area of her love life, meaning she leaves behind a constant trail of heartbroken men and women.

Calliope complains about the constant wailing around their home, and Clio proves she has some of her mother’s talent with magic when she casts an unplotable spell around their home so former lovers stop following Erato home. Of course, she forgets to tell both Apollo and her sisters about this, and it’s very confusing for everyone until Clio remembers to tell them where the house is.

His daughters’ home is a place of constant music, poetry, and literature. He thinks he’s starting to suspect what Amphitrite was talking about.

~

Not all hunts are easy things.

Apollo feels the moment his sister is wounded, the arrow through her abdomen as painful for him as it is for her. He’s in his chariot, and he can’t leave it, if he leaves his chariot unattended the sun will consume it, and then consume the earth. “Calliope!” he snaps, and his eldest daughter appears by his side.

“Father?” she asks, huddling into him and away from the sun. “What’s going on?”

“Artemis is hurt, I have to help,” he says urgently, and places the reins into her hands. “You can do this.”

She pales, but steps forward, keeping a white knuckled grip on the chariot. “Go.”

He kisses his forehead, and goes to his sister. Her huntresses have set up an honor guard around her, defending and dying as cruel faced giants draws closer. “ARES!” he screams, and he doesn’t know what they’re fighting for, what this war is about, but it doesn’t matter. “WE NEED YOU!”

The god of war appears, and he’s clearly come from some other battle, covered in mud and other worse things. He throws himself into the battle, but it’s not until they gain more aid that the tides turn in their favor.

He first sees Erato on the field, water swirling around her as she slices through them all, the power of her mother making her golden eyes glow. Clio is at her back, the glittering magic Hecate passed on to her filling her hands.

Thalia has long curved knives flying from her fingers, and all who face her don’t figure out they’re dead until she’s already left them behind. Urania is letting loose arrows against the giants and though she’s not his by blood, not a goddess by birth, none would know it watching each of her arrows hit true and take down another enemy.

Terpsichore uses her honed abilities of dance differently here on the battlefield, twirling and ducking around enemies with her sword flashing as it slices through all who go against her. Celestial fire licks up the sword, and the daughter of Hestia and Apollo is laughing as she dances through the battlefield.

He wants to yell at them, to tell them to get off the battlefield, to get to safety. But it is thanks to them that the fight is being won, so he says nothing.

Ares looks around, grimaces, and catches Apollo’s eye before he disappears from the battle. They must be invoking his name. Apollo is only grateful he managed to stay as long as he did.

The giants are all dead by the time Apollo manages to make it to his sister’s side. She’s pale and covered in blood, her huntresses seated around her and trying to stop the bleeding. “What were you thinking?” Apollo demands, grabbing her hand and pushing her hair from her forehead. Terpsichore comes forward and lays her burning sword against the wound, sealing and cauterizing it at once. Both Apollo and Artemis scream

“They – took – a – child,” she pants, leaning in for his touch, for his comfort, and he has never been able to deny her anything. He pulls her up, biting back a scream at the pain that rips through them both, and props her up against his chest. “A – nymph’s child. Zeus’s child. They killed – it’s mother. That – that sort of injustice will – will not be – tolerated.” She lays her head back against his shoulder, tears leaking from the corner of her eyes, and Apollo almost wishes the battle were not over, because he wants to murder something.

“I’ll get it,” Erato says, and a moment later she returns with a toddler in her arms. She has the copper skin of Zeus, and pale blonde hair. “What do we do now? Zeus does not care for his children.”

“I think it’s time you became a big sister,” Thalia says, and Erato looks stricken. “Right Dad?”

He looks to his sister, who nods. “I can think of no better place for her. She cannot stay with me – a hunting party is not place for children.”

“Very well,” he sighs. “Does she have a name?”

The girl attempts to hide behind Erato’s hair, then says, “I am Euterpe.”

“Welcome, Euterpe,” he says.

It’s then that the sun finally sets, and Calliope stumbles into existence next to them. She’s covered in deep, bleeding burns, but it’s not as bad he feared it would be. She’s certainly faired better at her first time driving the chariot than he had. “What’s happening? Is everything all right?”

“We have a new sister,” Thalia says brightly, even as Clio rushes forward to tend to her burns.

Euterpe, thankfully, seems to inherit none of Zeus’s madness. She has a singing voice like a clear bell, and soon surpasses even Calliope’s talent with the lyre.

He knows, technically, that Euterpe is his half-sister. But it takes him no time at all to regard her as his daughter, to love her with same simple ferocity as he loves her sisters.

~

For a while, all is well, is quiet. His daughters are all fully grown, accomplished and beautiful.

Then Demeter corners him when he’s walking through quiet city and pins him against an alley wall. “If Amphitrite thinks she can one up me over this,” the goddess hisses, “she’s sorely mistaken.”

At least this time he knows what’s going on when Demeter starts pulling her dress off. “You can’t raise the child,” he says. He’s not adverse to laying with Demeter, although at this rate it looks like there will be less laying and more standing against a rough alley wall. But Demeter only knows how to love in a way that crushes all it touches. He won’t let her do that to his child.

“Fine,” she snaps, “Now get moving.”

He’s vaguely terrified the whole time, and it mostly reminds him of his month with Hecate. He’s left alone and naked in the alleyway an hour later.

Nine months later, a baby is delivered to his door by a nervous wood nymph. His daughter still has the squashed appearance of a freshly born baby. “She didn’t waste any time,” he comments, settling her into the crook of his arms. “Does she have a name?”

“Polyhymnia, my lord,” the wood nymph says, then bows before fleeing.

He brings her to the home where all his daughters live.

She grows, and she’s the spitting image of Demeter, of Persephone back when she answered to the name Kore. Her voice is lower than Euterpe’s, but just as pretty and when they sing together it’s the most beautiful sound he’s ever heard. She’s quiet, and thoughtful, her big brown eyes watching all around her with a measured stare.

Polyhymnia asks after her mother, something none of the others had done, and Apollo doesn’t know what to say. The truth is too callous, but he can’t bear to lie to her. Instead he begs an audience with Persephone, and says, “Your sister asks after the mother you share. I don’t know what to tell her.”

Persephone has no advice to offer, but she starts spending some of her time outside of the underworld with Polyhymnia. It is enough, and her questions stop, and Apollo tries not to feel guilty that he never really answered them.

~

Cassandra is unlike any woman he’s ever met, unlike any person he’s ever met, and the flames of love and passion burn inside him in a way they haven’t since his Hyacinth died.

She’s bull headed and irritating, and whenever he tries to complain about it Artemis rolls her eyes and his daughters laugh at him. He supposes he’s not doing a very good job hiding that he’s in love with her. Not even from her, because at one point she crossly asks if he’s ever planning to do anything with her, or if she should accept the offer from the butcher’s son.

They don’t leave her house for five days.

She is curious, hungry for knowledge, hungrier for it then she is of him. She wants to know impossible things, wants to be an impossible thing, and so Apollo laughs and takes her hand and says, “I will make you a bargain. I will give you the gift of prophecy, if you will grant me the gift of your hand.”

He’s never take a bride before. He hasn’t wanted to.

Cassandra is screaming and laughing, and she throws her arms around his neck and kisses him until she’s breathless. He takes it as a yes.

That’s when everything goes horribly, incredibly wrong.

It’s too much, all the horror she sees is too much, and Apollo tries to tell her to focus on the good, to see the happiness of the future. But she can’t, gets too caught up in too many wars, and she wastes away in front of his eyes even as her stomach swells.

He tries to take back the gift, tries to save her, but he can’t. It cannot be ungiven, and his headstrong, vivacious lover fades before his eyes. He only manages to alter it, to change it so no one believes the horrible things she cries to prevent the horror people feel when she looks at them and screams the way that they’ll die.

Artemis helps deliver their child, but halfway through her face goes pinched and worried, and Apollo knows that Cassandra won’t make it.

“I’m sorry,” he weeps, kissing her gaunt face, feeling the sharpness of her cheekbones under his lips, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t know this would happen. I didn’t want this to happen.”

She looks at him with glassy eyes, barely reacts when Artemis places their child on her chest. There’s a growing pool of blood under her, but she can’t be saved, she will die, here, now.

Apollo wonders if she saw this coming.

She blinks, and meets his gaze with a sharpness and awareness he hasn’t seen for a long time. “She is your last daughter,” Cassandra says, “Melpomene is the last daughter you will have.”

He kisses her, his last chance to do so.

She’s dead before his lips leaves hers.

Apollo tries to flee, to run from the claws tearing apart his heart, but Artemis doesn’t let him. She yanks him back and pushes Melpomene into his arms. “You can’t leave,” she says harshly, “She needs you. Your daughter needs you. You’re not allowed to run.”

He crumples, leaning his head onto his sister’s shoulder as he sobs, and her calloused hand grasps the back of his neck. Melpomene is stuck between them, soft and warm and alive.

Time passes.

Melpomene is Thalia’s other half, her best friend, and they do everything together. Her dark hair is a mass of unruly curls just like her mother, her laughter is just like her mother’s.

She, like her sisters, is his pride and his joy.

~

Apollo has nine daughters

Calliope, who reigns over written epics.

Terpsichore, who reigns over dance.

Urania, who reigns over astronomy.

Thalia, who reigns over comedy.

Clio, who reigns over history.

Erato, who reigns over love poetry.

Euterpe, who reigns over song.

Polyhymnia, who reigns over hymns.

Melpomene, who reigns over tragedy.

They are known as the Muses.


gods and monster series, part xxi

read more of the gods and monsters series here

p!atd album aesthetics
  • afycso: 1980s strip clubs hidden away from wives, costume parties where the hostess plans to kill a guest, climbing through the windows of friends because it’s not safe at home, losing your virginity to a one night stand that you want back, smudged deep red lipstick on swollen lips, hiding vodka in a flask under your shirt, meeting under barber shop signs to whisper secrets, affairs that everybody knows about but nobody talks about
  • pretty.odd.: stoners sitting in a circle playing acoustic covers of hippie song, kisses on the necks of best friends, lying on the grass on warm nights and stargazing, singing french to yourself even though you've got no clue as to what you're saying, flower crowns strewn over messy short hair, going into grocery stores in the middle of the night
  • vices: newly cut and styled hair, smoothing down vest jackets and straightening ties, sharp violin notes, dark passionate nights and lonely mornings, realising your sunday preacher is also your monday drug dealer, nostalgia for times with old friends that you miss
  • too weird: waking up in vegas even though you went to sleep on the other side of cali, shaking glitter out of folded clothes, blowing out cigarette smoke into the crisp night sky, kicking broken slot machines until change spills out, realising you miss someone more than you care to admit
  • doab: climbing to the top of a building and seeing where the city meets the sky, feeling at ease with somebody for the first time in a while, letting everything bad inside consume you for a little bit but eventually taking back control, lying in the hot sun on a deckchair next to a pool, neon lights shining onto the beach in the late evening
Start Over.

(a quick story on what happened after Dark walked away from the mirror…)


“Damien! Damien, it’s time to come out now! This game isn’t going on anymore!”
The Colonel had been wandering aimlessly through the whole manor twice now, this time peeking underneath chairs and around doors. The excitement of this little game of hide and seek was still buzzing inside him, even after three hours, and he was looking forward to finding his friends, seeing their faces of mocked disappointment and then laughter. Just like their school days. He was starting to appreciate Mark’s little get together. Strange how quiet the house seemed now though. Oh so quiet. Except for a light ringing in his ears that seemed to follow him. “Come on! Where are you hiding?”
“I’m here, William.” said a familiar voice.
The Colonel spun around fast to the voice and saw Damien standing in the doorway, loosely holding his cane in his hand. A smile instantly rose under William’s moustache, but it faded slightly as he observed Damien more carefully. Something was off. He looked untidy, which was unnatural for Damien; his usual flatly press shirt was now unbuttoned and open at the collar, and his pristine white bowtie was missing. His hair was no longer slipped back but dangling loosely over the side of his face, nearly covering his eye. And… was that eyeliner? A bruised black eye? Either way it brought out that rather intimidating stare he was giving him.
William laughed and clapped his hands as he slowly approached him. “Damien! Very well done. You really got me! For a while there I actually thought you were dead!” As he got to Damien, he reached out and held his arm, just to confirm he was really there. “My goodness, you look awful! Did a dog attack you or something?”
Damien glanced down at William’s hand. He knew by the straining ligaments in the his hand and the sharp creases of his blazer sleeve between William’s fingers that it was a tight and desperate grip… but he couldn’t feel it. One side of his mind reasoned that, well, obviously we wouldn’t be able to feel anything, being a corpse now. The other side of his mind just wanted to cry. Damien rested his cold hand on William’s and sighed. “… I had a small accident, yes.” He told him, stiffly tilting his neck to one side for a second.
The Colonel chuckled, “Well, it doesn’t matter now. I found you!” Scanning Damien’s body, he saw the cane and was reminded. “-Oh, also, you left these behind.” He pulled out of his pockets Damien’s black Mayor badge and his white bowtie, and passed them to Damien. “Wouldn’t want to go back to the office without them, would ya?” he chuckled again, his voice breaking, almost making his laughing seem like sobbing. “Now, where is Celine?” He let go of his friend and began to wander out of the room again, stumbling over his feet like a toddler. “Celine! Darling, where are you hiding?”
As William turned a corner, Damien stepped out of the doorway ahead of him. For a moment, the Colonel wondered how he got there so quick. “Celine is gone, Colonel.” Damien assured him. This was a lie. She was, in some ways, standing right in front of him.
William frowned a little in confusion. “…Gone? She left already? I didn’t see her go.” There was pause for thought. Damien’s mind was racing. Tell him the truth. No, that will make him madder than he already is. But it’s cruel, he’s our friend. He still thinks I’m Damien, I think that’s enough to keep him satisfied for now. But what about me?
Just as Damien was about to answer, William started to laugh. “She probably ran away! Yes. Couldn’t stand the failure of me finding her. She was never that good at hide and seek, even when we were young. You remember, our old games of hide and seek?”
Damien nodded. His mind gave a sigh, one of relief, one of frustration.
“Ah. Good times.” The Colonel began to pass Damien until he was stopped by Damien’s cane. In the distance was the sound of approaching police sirens.
Damien looked at him sternly. “Listen, Colonel. We have to go now.”
“Why? Go where?”
“Away from this house.” He began to head to a nearby door. “The police will be coming soon.”
William followed him, still perplexed. “Why? What’s happened?”
“Mark is dead.”
William stopped instantly. Damien hung back and cautiously watched as fear casted over William’s face. He stuttered, “… But he isn’t. I… I didn’t kill him. It was a joke, right?”
“Yes, it was a joke.” Damien insisted as he returned to William’s side and hooked his arm through his. He tugged William with him as he strode towards the door and said, “More sinister than a joke. It was a set up. Mark was angry at you and Celine so he set you up so you would get arrested.”
Letting Damien pull him towards the door, William pressed, “But he’s not dead. They can’t arrest me, I didn’t kill him. I didn’t kill anyone.”
“Yes, you didn’t. But that doesn’t matter to the police. They don’t care if the suspect is the real criminal or falsely accused; they just want to capture a bad guy, put him away, and get a promotion for it.” They reached the door, where Damien swung the Colonel in front of him so he could look him in the eye and tell him firmly, “Never trust the police, Colonel. Never.”
William nodded lightly, a little scared at how cold his friend’s gaze has gotten. “…Ok, I won’t in future.”
“Come on, then.” Damien open the door and walked outside.
William paused as he remembered. “Wait… what about Bully? They’re still in there.”
“They don’t matter now.” Damien called back as he continued to walk away and up the path that lead up to the mountain side. “Nothing does.”
William spotted that Damien left his cane leaning against the wall next to the door. Why would he leave it? He picked it up and ran after Damien, just as the police sirens stopped and car doors started to open and close.


The police wouldn’t have been able to stop them if they had saw them. Within the blink of an eye, Damien and William would have jumped an extra mile ahead of where they would have previously been seen. But still the hike was slow for them. Damien’s mind rushed with regrets of picking a body with a broken leg as well as a broken neck. Best to just teleport to places in future.
Suddenly William jumped to his side and put the cane back in Damien’s hand. “You seem to be hobbling there, old boy. Use your cane, for goodness sakes. You need it now more than ever before!” William chuckled.
Damien didn’t smile. He let the cane fall from his fingers. “It’s not mine anymore.” He walked on.
William picked the cane back up and tried to catch up to him. “But you’re the Mayor. This is yours. It was given to you by-”
“Not anymore!” Damien yelled, staring at William with the look of a snarling wolf. On seeing William retreat with a startled gaze, Damien looked away and sighed, trying to calm down. Rolling his shoulders, he growled, “Mark is the Mayor now.”
“How? Why?”
“Because he got away and… is pretending to be me.” He took my body. He took my life with it, actually. He felt his fists clenching up and his shell cracking. “I bet it was him who called the police on you. They believe him now, not me…” He sighed and looked to the ground. “I can’t be Damien anymore.” He looked back at William, who was shuffling his way closer, still holding tight to the cane. “And you can’t be Colonel William Warford anymore.”
William blinked in shock. “What? Why?”
“Because the police are looking for a Colonel William Warford! They’re probably on a man hunt for you. You’ll have to change your name so they don’t find you.”
His face fell to a pout fit for a guilty puppy’s face. “But…. I like ‘William’.”
Damien sighed and thought for a second. Let him have it. His nickname, at least. “… Will… You can have Will.”
His smile miraculously grew back as he cheered, “Yay! Will Warford.”
“Wilford.”
“Huh?”
Something that hadn’t appeared on Damien’s face for a small while showed up; a smile. It didn’t seem to suit him anymore. But he still smiled, because Wilford was smiling right back at him. “Wilford sounds better don’t you think?”
Wilford beamed. “… Yes. It sounds cleaner, authoritarian, powerful.”
“Suits you more than William, if I might say.” Damien said and they continued their trek down the mountain. They were coming close to a town. They would stay there for a while, just until they had thought out how they would get their lives back.
“What about you?” Wilford asked just to break the silence. “What’s your name gonna be now?”
Damien shrugged, “I don’t know.” After a small pause he admitted, “I wish I was still Damien.” His hands were in his pockets for the majority of the journey, the left hand was busy running the black silk of the Mayor badge he once wore through his fingers, the right hand was gripping the bowtie. His skin seemed to turn grey as anger built up inside him. “I wish this never happened. I wish it never had to be this way. I wish I had power enough to turn back time and stop all this happening to us… Or at least, I wish I had the power to go back and kill Mark myself when I had the chance.”
“Wow!” Wilford yelled suddenly, breaking Damien’s concentrated rage. He giggled nervously and said, “You got a little dark there, all of a sudden. Are you alright, Damien?”
Damien stopped walking. … That would be ironic wouldn’t it. It rhymes with the back-stabbing son of a bitch’s name anyway. Wouldn’t it make our justice a little sweeter?
He looked up with his new abnormally creepy smile. “… Dark.”
“Huh?”
Dark looked back to Wilford and told him, “Call me Dark from now on. Dark and Wilford. A nice fresh start for all of us.” He swung his arm around Wilford’s shoulders and rested it there as they both walked together.  
“Yeah. Dark and Wilford!… Wilford… War… Wilford War.” Wilford shook his head. “Doesn’t sound nice with just War on the end.”
“We’ll find something for you.” Dark assured.
Wilford looked around him, then at the cane he held. He gasped and held out the cane as he declared, “Wilford War-stick!”
Dark scowled at him. “…No.”
Wilford sighed disappointedly and looked around again. “Wilford War… branch!”
“No. That’s even worse.” Dark took his arm off Wilford’s shoulders and walked on ahead.
“Wilford Warburton?… War-butt-on! Haha!”
“Stop it.”


“Wilford Wardrobe!” Wilford announced, his voice muffled from the inside of the hotel cupboard.
Dark opened the cupboard door and scowled at Wilford who looked at him with an expression that was trying hard to contain a laugh. “It’s not funny anymore.” Dark groaned, hanging his blazer up on a wire hanger.
Wilford observed Dark’s sullen face and frowned. “You found it funny before? Even since we found each other after the chaos back at the manor, I haven’t heard you laugh, not even mockingly. It’s like you’ve suddenly changed, Damien.”
Dark’s lip twitched and he growled, “… I have changed. For a start, I’m not Damien anymore!!”
Wilford flinched. He had not seen Damien- sorry, Dark, in this way. It was usually him who would snap at Dark, and Dark would retreat or just give up having the argument with him. Now… Wilford felt scared to anger him. Not because he was scared of getting hurt. But because he was scared Dark was going to get sick of him and leave him.
Dark saw the fear in Wilford’s eyes through his rose-tinted glasses. That was uncalled for. Let him say it. He’s known ‘Damien’ for years, it’ll take a while to adjust. “… Sorry.” Dark mumbled. “I’m sorry Will. I… I don’t mean to hurt you.”
“It’s fine.” Wilford said as he began to climb out of the cupboard. “Mark has obviously made you angry. He’s made me a little peeved too. Trying to play dead on me so that blasted bastard detective would put me away. Ha!” He walked into the bathroom and continued calling to Dark, “To be honest, the detective is the only person I wish this whole ‘playing dead’ thing wasn’t a joke! Haha!”
Dark didn’t answer. Both sides of him saddened.
“I think I should change my appearance.” Wilford abruptly called out from the bathroom.
Dark blinked. “Sorry?”
Wilford took off his glasses and looked into the mirror. He brushed his moustache with the tips of his fingers. “Well, if I change my name, I should change how I look too! Like you did! You’ve changed from Damien to Dark, and also changed from a well-suited Mayor to a bummed-out businessman! Haha!”
“…Yes.” Dark said. He had moved to the waste bin and turned out his pockets. He took out his bowtie and stared at it. He wondered… He walked to the bathroom. “Here.” he said, placing his bowtie on the side of the sink. “I don’t need this anymore.”
Wilford stared at the bowtie for a while. He smiled. It reminded him of Damien. He held it up to his collar. Nice, but it need to be a bit more colourful. The sound of wood snapping came from the other room and Wilford peeked out to see Dark had snapped his cane in half. He put the broken pieces in the waste bin along with the Mayor badge. Wilford huffed and laughed, “You really are taking this disguise thing seriously!”


Wilford had been gone for a while; he said he had an idea and needed to go to the launderette. Dark sat in the room alone. Well, as alone as a body with two souls could be. There was a deep conversation going on inside his mind.
He’s not going to continue acting like ‘Mayor Damien’. Yeah, he’s got a new identity he can use, so he’s probably going to find another life to live. He could be anywhere. Not so, there’s still a chance we can find him. He’s in your body anyway, I’m sure you’d be able to sense him whenever he’s near. …Maybe. It’s still going to be difficult, like finding a needle in a hay stack. But remember, this is a very shiny needle. If he’s still as pompous and arrogant, and still pursuing show business, he’ll be shouting where he is to the sky and back. …Possibly. You need to be more positive about this. …How can I be positive while a head-up-his-own-ass fucker is walking around in my body while we’re both stuck in this broken, numb carcass and have to be tied to the trigger-happy madman our friend has become?! Damien! … I’m sorry, Celine. It’s just… it’s not fair. Hey, think about the soul this body belongs to, trapped in that horrible mansion. Do you think they’re having a fairer time than us? …No. I can’t believe you made me do that, to throw them out, our friend that you helped get a job, the friend that trusted us. If you’re so mad about it, then why did you come along for this ride?
“Ha ha ha HA!” The door to the room was kicked open. Wilford tip-toed into the room holding his coat over his body to hide from Dark like a curtain.
“What did you do?”
Wilford dropped the coat and stood tall with his arms out wide. “Ta-da!” He didn’t look much different; only four things had changed. One, he wasn’t wearing his glasses, two, his suspender had faded from red to pink, and three, on his collar of his mustard shirt he wore a bowtie as equally pink as the suspenders. But the fourth change really caught Dark’s eye. His once thick brown moustache was now trimmed to a curly perfection and coloured a beautiful rosy pink. With a proud smile and a flourishing bow, he announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, Wilford Warfstache!”
As soon as the coat dropped Dark had been staring at Wilford with wide eyes and mouth agape. Wilford held his pose waiting for a response eagerly; he spent a good few hours trying to wash out his suspenders with his new bowtie, while also trying to find the right Kool Aid drink-mix power that would give a similar rosy shade to his moustache. After a moment of utter silence, Dark smiled a genuine smile and said, “… It’s incredible!”
Wilford released himself from his pose and picked up his coat to hang it up. “Do you think the pink will stand out a bit too much?”
Dark nodded, “Absolutely. It’s pompous and wild and unorthodox. Suits you down to the ground.”
Wilford smiled at Dark as he headed into the bathroom. “Thank you!” He went to mirror to admire his handy work, never losing his wide and childish smile. He sighed, “Goodness, if only Celine was here to see this. What will she think?”
“… She’d be proud of you, Will.”
Wilford peeked around the door to Dark, who was walking over to him. “You think so?”
Dark was still smiling, but there was something in his expression. Uncertainty? Or was it pride? Either way he looked at Wilford in the same way a parent looks at their child accomplishing their dreams. “I know so.” Dark answered.
For some reason that sentence hit him hard in the chest. Almost as if Celine was right in front of him, which made him feel ecstatic. He walked up to Dark and surprised him with a tight hug. “Thanks, Dark.” Dark patted his back carefully, he didn’t want his shell to shatter just yet. Wilford finally pulled away from Dark and made his way to his room for bed; it had been a heavy past few days, but he didn’t really mind. All his friends were alive, Dark was going to stick with him for a while, and he got to express himself, finally, after so many years of intense mental and physical battles.
Damien? Yeah? Moments like that are why I came along for the ride.

I like the stage before sex. When we’re making out fully clothed and his dick is throbbing under his pants and you’re wet asf but he doesn’t even know what he’s about to get into and yall are just grinding against each other, biting each other’s lips off and sucking the blood out of each other’s neck

is it so much to ask that you text me back
I’m so scared of losing touch I’m scared to ask if you know that
the reason why I try so hard to be nice
is so no one else will leave me behind
you’re right that it’s not that hard to tell the ones that you love
how much they mean and how you’d feel if it was them and not us
but I can make the time in my life to be sad every time you’re around me

how did it make you feel to know you’re not quite enough
for someone who took so much from you and then just gave up
on the things that used to make me so glad I got to be holding your hand
‘cause I’m not too busy i’m just still dizzy trying to
catch my fucking breath through these sweat-soaked sheets
but you’re still so pretty and I’m still to skinny to hold
all this weight on my own

but I find the time to tell everyone I love
that someday I won’t need them anymore but that’s because
they’ve given me everything I need to be me
you let me be me

I’m not going back to my bed before I find a way to tire myself out
it seems that everything tires me out except trying to get some rest